Rajeev Basu craves strong reactions. The British artist, currently based in Boulder, Colorado has a knack for creating online projects that can irk or delight you, depending on your temperament. After enabling the average web user to hijack any web page with GIFs, remix their alarm clocks, and express themselves through the Gay Alphabet, Basu is now offering any interested parties a chance to own their very own Harrigan Drone. You know you’ve always wanted one.
Design your drone here.
Basu’s Mr Drones website is a satirical look at an item that’s been steadily gaining more and more media attention over the past couple of years, be it for their use in US military campaigns, or for the consumer-sized drones that more resemble seriously phenomenal toys. He’s making light of their eventual ubiquity by anticipating what it could eventually be like to have drone advertising thrown at us. “I was curious to explore how everyday folks will react to thousands of drones buzzing about over their homes. That’s because in the US, commercial drone use becomes legal in 2015. FAA estimates that 30,000 will be in our skies by 2020. So I created a hoax site called Mr Drones selling the ultra powerful drones of tomorrow, today.”
Mr Drones allows you to pick a color for your drone and even give it a custom paint job, all within your browser. Paint directly onto the rotating 3D model and share your location, and it’ll show you what your customized drone will look like flying around on your street.
My ugly ass drone. Don’t judge.
There’s no denying that drones are everywhere these days, and the controversy over their use by our military has kept them as a topic of hot debate. The drone has come to be a symbol of faceless violence, and of the harmful uses of technology, and being has such has inspired art that serves as commentary. Our sister site Motherboard‘s resident drone expert Brian Anderson weighed in on the merit of Basu’s and other drone-themed art.
“As the technology proliferates, we’re seeing more and more artists grappling with the heavier issues that drones present—killing, of course, but also basic privacy rights. For instance, recently in San Diego an artist created a fake drone crash site on a college campus, and it’s my opinion that something has infiltrated popular consciousness when you see more and more artists commenting, inverting, etc.”